Cumberland Times-News

Latest news

July 1, 2013

Coalition tries to intervene in dam relicensing in effort to curb pollution

Group’s attempt ‘most significant opportunity to save the bay’

CUMBERLAND — Attorneys representing the Clean Chesapeake Coalition, an organization that includes Allegany County, have filed to intervene in the federal relicensing process for the Conowingo Dam.

The coalition wants conditions added to the license to address concerns about the dam’s role in pollution of the Chesapeake Bay.

“This intervention presents the most significant opportunity to save the bay in our lifetime, given that the license renewal is for a term of 30-50 years,” according to the coalition’s website.

The dam is owned by the Exelon Corporation and is licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Coalition, which is beginning discussions and a review of the relicensing.

Allegany County strongly supports the effort to intervene, said Allegany County Commissioner Bill Valentine.

A high percentage of the pollutants entering the bay come from the Susquehanna River, where the dam stands, officials said.

The dam no longer serves the filtering process it once did, and now pollutants go through the dam during water releases and polluted sediments have accumulated in the dam. The coalition believes the dam should be dredged.

“It’s lost all of its scrubbing power,” Valentine said. “They’re never going to take care of the bay unless the Conowingo Dam is addressed.”

Charles “Chip” MacLeod of Funk and Bolton said he didn’t expect any objections to the intervention, because the local counties clearly have an interest in the process.

Some coalition members are concerned about discussions that have occurred outside the formal licensing process.

In a June 18 letter to John Smith of FERC, a Kent County commissioner writing on behalf of the coalition questioned some of the procedures in the relicensing process, especially settlement negotiations and a pre-filing consultation project.

“We are troubled by the concept that a settlement agreement can be filed by Exelon with supporting documentation that will be given weight by the Commission in making environmental determinations,” wrote Ronald Fithian.

Some environmental groups  have said that while the dam is an issue, it should not become the main concern for bay cleanup efforts.

The county agreed to pay the firm up to $25,000 for its efforts and each county part of the coalition agreed to pay a portion of the attorney fees.

The coalition’s website is: http://www.cleanchesapeakecoalition.com/.

Contact Matthew Bieniek at mbieniek@times-news.com.

1
Text Only
Latest news
  • Puff & Stuff owners agree to settlement in federal court

    CUMBERLAND — The owners of Puff & Stuff stores in Cumberland and LaVale agreed to forfeit $173,988 to settle claims that they sold synethic drugs at their stores.

    April 23, 2014

  • Orndorff.jpg Hampshire man sentenced to 40 years plus in child death

    ROMNEY, W.Va. – Hampshire County Circuit Court Judge H. Charles Carl III sentenced Cory A. Orndorff, 23, of Green Spring on Wednesday to 40 years for one count of child abuse resulting in the death of an 18-month-old child

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wills Mountain wild fire 70 percent contained

    CENTERVILLE, Pa. — Fire on Wills Mountain that began Saturday reportedly covered more than 800 acres by Wednesday morning and was 70 percent contained, according to a public information officer with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry.

    April 23, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
     

    April 23, 2014

  • West Virginia flags lowered for former congressman

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — State and U.S. flags at state facilities are at half-staff in honor of former Rep. Mick Staton.
    Staton died April 14. He was 74.
     

    April 23, 2014

  • Truck catches fire on city bridge

    CUMBERLAND — Cumberland firefighters doused a pickup truck fire on the Baltimore Street bridge spanning Wills Creek about 11 a.m. Tuesday, but not before it destroyed the engine compartment and damaged the passenger area of the Chevrolet.

    April 22, 2014

  • Carbon monoxide causes evacuation at Ramada

    CUMBERLAND — High carbon monoxide readings at the Ramada Inn on George Street resulted in the evacuation of the first floor at midday Tuesday and caused a senior citizen prom to be moved elsewhere.

    April 22, 2014

  • picketing 2-1.jpg Workers begin picketing outside WV Schools for Deaf and Blind

    ROMNEY, W.Va. – Child care workers and union reps began picketing outside the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind Tuesday morning.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Romney firefighters get federal grant

    ROMNEY, W.Va. — The Romney Fire Company will receive $67,925 in funding through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.

    April 22, 2014

  • Sgt. Walter May.jpg Sgt. Walt May earns Award of Merit

    CUMBERLAND — The Maryland Natural Resources Police honored Sgt. Walt May of Westernport during its annual awards ceremony held last week at Chesapeake College.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

Facebook
Must Read
House Ads
NDN Video
Michael Strahan's First Day on "GMA" Amazon's Deal With HBO Leapfrogs Streaming Rivals Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Lupita Nyong'o Named People's 'Most Beautiful' Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Rise of the Milkbots Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes
NDN Video
Michael Strahan's First Day on "GMA" Amazon's Deal With HBO Leapfrogs Streaming Rivals Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Lupita Nyong'o Named People's 'Most Beautiful' Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Rise of the Milkbots Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes